I knew this Christmas was going to be different than any we had ever had. Not only could my sister, Jessica, and her doctor husband not make it for Christmas for the third year, but this year our youngest sister, Ashley, was deployed to Qatar over the holidays. We have a large family, five daughters, and this is the first year that only three of us were home.
Last night, Christmas Eve, we decided to all Skype Christmas morning for the traditional reading of the Christmas story from the Bible that my dad always does. This morning we awoke to the smells of all the baking we had done over the last couple of days and to the presents under the tree that we had all wrapped the night before. After the essential cup of coffee and gathering in the living room around the tree, Ashley video called from Qatar on my computer and Jessica called in from Boston on our oldest sister’s computer. We chatted for a while, very excited that we were all able to “see” each other on Christmas morning, and then we listened to the Christmas story. Ashley’s fiancé, Adam (who is already part of the family), even video called in for a minute.
It might not seem a very big deal, but as I sat there listening to the familiar sound of my dad’s calm, deep voice read the most important event in history out of the most important book in history and hearing my mom’s soft sniffles, so happy that we were all there “together”, it felt like a really big deal. It was a big deal and I am blessed to say that I got to spend Christmas with my whole family.